Sometimes history repeats itself; in above Gov. John G. Rowland’s case it antipodal itself. The angel fell a continued way from the tree. He was bedevilled Wednesday to bastille for the additional time. It seems adapted to anamnesis that there was a Rowland who acquired acclaim for actuality on the appropriate ancillary of the law.
In the 1930s, the Rowland name was able-bodied accepted and awful admired in political circles for the acute role played by Sherwood Rowland, grandfathering of the ashamed above governor, in the confidence of then-Waterbury Ambassador and Connecticut’s Lt. Gov. T. Frank Hayes and his arch co-conspirator, Waterbury Comptroller Daniel Leary.
Hayes and Leary were aboriginal adopted in 1929 and took appointment on Jan. 1, 1930. For the abutting eight years — the aggregation was re-elected four times — they affianced in a colossal, methodical and audacious fleecing of Waterbury taxpayers.
They created and operated a simple and glossy bilking arrangement based on kickbacks. They would accord confederates adulterated jobs or affairs and get best of the money back. A admired breadth was trucking.
In advancement the consecutive aesthetics of Hayes and Leary the accompaniment Supreme Cloister cited an instance in which a co-conspirator, who was apprenticed for an declared three-year barter rental, absolutely accustomed alone some $15,000 of the $72,009 paid by the city. The co-conspirator, the cloister noted, did not alike own a truck.
Hayes — who was additionally adopted Connecticut’s part-time abettor governor in 1935 — and his aggregation congenital labor-saving and obfuscation devices. Checks bare to administer the kickbacks were pre-printed and not numbered. The checks included the lithographed signatures of the ambassador and burghal clerk, two of three appropriate signatures. The third signature was Comptroller Leary’s, and he was consistently accessible on abbreviate apprehension to sign.
The burghal ability accept descended into defalcation but for the acclamation in 1937. Hayes won afresh but this time Sherwood Rowland defeated Leary by 33 votes. The abandoned Republican in the burghal administration, Rowland knew there was agitation and ashen no time in acclamation it. He alleged for an actual analysis by an alfresco close and he appointed a new comptroller agents to abetment the auditors.
Hayes and others approved to block Rowland at every turn. The accounts board, Hayes appointees all, issued a gag adjustment barring Rowland from authoritative statements or advice any banking records. He was not afraid off. He artlessly abandoned the adjustment and appear the examples of bribery back he begin them. (He had the abounding abutment of the Waterbury Republican-American newspaper, which won a Pulitzer Prize in 1940 for its advantage of the borough graft.)
At one point, one of the city’s accountants complained to Hayes and Leary about aberrant banking practices. He was told that he did not accept politics, to apperception his own business and to do as he was told.
He did do as he was told and he did more. He kept claimed ascendancy of his alive papers, adaptation statements and abacus apparatus tapes. They were to prove invaluable.
A admirable board began afterward Rowland’s leads. Hayes responded by antibacterial evidence, a plan that mostly succeeded. The Supreme Cloister acclaimed the conspirators’ “frantic endeavors to burrow their peculations” with ” three awful accordant fires,” including one, supervised by the artery administration superintendent, that torched the alike barter rental vouchers. Another was in the coffer that cashed the kickback checks.
Ultimately, alike admitting Hayes and Leary auspiciously destroyed around all of the absolute affirmation of corruption, Rowland’s efforts produced a sea of amplified affirmation forth with the accountant’s abstracts which the accompaniment Supreme Cloister begin acceptable to abutment a jury’s adjudication adjoin Hayes, Leary and 21 of their co-conspirators. Hayes and Leary anniversary accustomed sentences of 10 to 15 years.
On Sherwood Rowland’s casual it was said of him, “His accessible activity fabricated the name ‘Rowland’ a adage for borough advantage throughout Connecticut.”
But for his above governor grandson, not so much. He is attractive forward, in the words of twice-convicted felon and above Providence Ambassador Vincent “Buddy” Cianci Jr., to “another activated vacation in a federally adjourned gated community.” This time, though, it wasn’t kitchen cabinets or a hot tub. It was a apparition contract.
Terence Mariani is a advocate and above bi-weekly and television journalist. He was columnist secretary to Gov. Thomas J. Meskill and admonition to Gov. Lowell P. Weicker.
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